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Are babies born bullies? UBC study shows infants learn social stratification as early as nine months.
University of British Columbia Centre for Infant Cognition states that bullying is a gene-linked behavior causing “social stratification” – a result of the victim’s DNA. The behaviors that most often lead to exclusion and victimization in the classroom or schoolyard have their roots in a student’s genes, the study said, arguing that children’s genetic makeup has a direct impact on the quality of the interactions they enjoy with their peers. Babies aged nine to 14 months were found to take pleasure in the bullying of individuals they saw as different from themselves. While the study’s findings could inform future anti-bullying strategies, for now they are a mere chilling peek-a-boo into the world of baby bullies, and how infants learn to make their way in the world.
The compulsion to bully is a biologically and genetically based instinct built into us for survival – to protect us from a person or group we believe is a threat to us. We therefore see this prejudicial bullying as paradoxically necessary for our survival – survival of the fittest.